Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - April 11, 2012

From: Kansas City, KS
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Lists, Shrubs
Title: Plant similar to forsythia for Kansas City KS
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I want to plant a plant very similar to Forsythia. I want it to be tall 4-5 ft tall. Need something that leaf changing, something besides burning bush.Former area rose beds 4 x 4 (two areas) Right beside screen front porch. What do you suggest?

ANSWER:

We are always touched by the faith of our patrons in Mr. Smarty Plants' ability to reach into our vast store of gardening knowledge, and pull out the exact plant they have created in their minds. In the first place, "vast" is not the word we would use to describe our garden wisdom. Before we look for a plant that is "like" forsythia, we have to find out what forsythia is like. We would like to go to our Native Plant Database to get information, but since it is not native to North America, we can't do that.

For instance, we know that forsythia x intermedia is native to China, and will grow in Kansas. We found out that it blooms from late March to mid-April, for a period of about 2 weeks. It needs full sun or light shade, and well-drained soils with supplementary watering during hot, dry spells. Here is an Ohio State University article on Forsythia x intermedia for more information.

Since the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native to North America we well as to the areas where they grow naturally, we will go to our Native Plant Database, use the Combination Search, searching on Kansas for state, full sun to part shade under Light Requirements and moist soils under Soil Moisture. We'll even throw in yellow in Bloom  Color and March and April in Bloom Time, plus, of course, height of 3 to 6 feet tall under Size. Click on Submit Combination Search.

We got zero results. So, we'll be a little more reasonable, and make fewer specifications. We'll go with Kansas, shrub, full sun and part shade, and 3-6 feet tall. this gave us 16 results, from which we chose 6 that came close. Follow each plant link to our page on that plant to learn its characteristics. Then, having learned to use our database, you can go in and make your own searches or selections.

 

From the Image Gallery


Prairie redroot
Ceanothus herbaceus

Crimson-eyed rose-mallow
Hibiscus moscheutos

Fragrant mimosa
Mimosa borealis

Oklahoma plum
Prunus gracilis

Woods' rose
Rosa woodsii

Coralberry
Symphoricarpos orbiculatus

More Plant Lists Questions

Native Plants for Emory Texas
September 18, 2013 - I live in Emory Texas want to plant native plants in my yard. I am new to Texas and need help.
view the full question and answer

Small native trees/shrubs for Corpus Christi, TX
July 02, 2012 - Which small native trees or tall shrubs would do well in full sun in Corpus Christi for privacy along a fence line? Blooms are a bonus and evergreen is preferred.Searches on the website aren't produc...
view the full question and answer

Tree for South Dakota
April 24, 2012 - Sir, I am looking for suggestions on a backyard tree, nice shade tree 60-80' height to complement a split foyer house and a flowering crab that is currently there. Low maintenance, with no seeds or c...
view the full question and answer

New York City Native Perennials for a Long Growing Season
May 31, 2013 - Which native New York City perennials would be best for the longest growing season?
view the full question and answer

Plants for farm animals from East Greenwich RI
May 03, 2014 - What type of perennial flowers and shrubs are safe to plant around farm animals (dogs, horses, chickens, turkeys) in New England climate?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.